The fall movie schedule is usually the best time of the year for tried and true movie fans. The fun-but-mindless amusement park movies are gone, and the more critically acclaimed are setting up shop. These are the movies that don’t shatter box office records, but they do set themselves up with little golden man hopes of getting an Academy Award nomination (or several) delivered to their doorstep.
After the surprising announcement earlier this year that there would actually be ten Best Picture nominees this year instead of the regular five nods, the chances for a movie getting in has greatly improved. Even with this giant change, Paramount has decided to risk fate and push one of the big boy Oscar contenders back to the very brink of when a movie is still eligible for nomination. The movie? Martin Scorsese‘s creepy looking horror/drama Shutter Island, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. The movie was originally slated to be released on October 2, but is now set for a February 19, 2010 unveiling. (Read: Watch Leonardo DiCaprio In Martin Scorseseâ€™s â€˜Shutter Islandâ€™ Trailer)
So why would Paramount risk not getting an Oscar nomination with the move? It appears that it was solely a financial decision, with expectations that the movie would make a lot more in February.
Here’s what Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey had to say:
Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment.
This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn. [It is our obligation to] best manage Paramountâ€™s business in a way that serves Viacom and its shareholders, while providing the film with every possible chance to succeed both creatively and financially.
The move is a bit of a risky one, indeed, but again, the awards contenders usually don’t make huge amounts at the box office. In a best case scenario, Shutter Island will see more of a financial success AND some Oscar nominations come through due to this decision.